Posts from May 2008.

Daily Tweets

  • You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool Matthew Baldwin. Seriously, it gets me every time. I’m all “Why are you up so early?” 16:30 PM
  • Have been smelling anise all morning. Someone remind me: does that indicate the presence of Satan or the onset of a stroke? 11:58 AM
  • Bliss and Tell: Only Googling a neologism or joke AFTER you’ve used it because you suspect 75,000 people came up with it first. 11:37 AM
  • Pint of No Return: The beer after which you will drink until drunk. For me it is number four. 10:21 AM
  • Scott McClellan’s new book, summarized: “I totally didn’t know I was lying those 630,000 times.” 09:16 AM
  • “Pornography” comes from the root words “porn,” which means “pornography,” and “ography,” which means nothing whatsoever. 09:01 AM
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My Microwave Has a Setting for Everything

 

I hit some secret combination of buttons and unlocked Witch Mode.

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Bureaucracy

 

Squiggle & I

So lemmie tell you about the (mostly healed, in this photograph) wound on my forehead. Kind of a funny story.

Last week The Queen and I rearranged the furniture in our bedroom, to make space for my new Craftsman 1470 pc. Professional Tool Set. (I like to store it all laid out like that, so I can easily find things.) As part of Operation Squabble (we cleverly embarked upon this plan when we were already tired and cranky, like at midnight), we decided to put a dresser into the walk-in closet. We’re talking a full-sized bureau here, about five feet high.

I grab one side, The Queen grabs the other, and we hoist it across the room. Between the lifting and my slightly hunched-over posture, the top edge of the dresser is level with my eyeline. Also, the corners of the thing are incredibly sharp. That’s a little thing we in the literary business like to call “Foreshadowing”.

So I’m backing into the closet. As I do so, the back of my head makes contact with the … you know, the thing. The rod. The hollow, wooden tube that runs below the shelf, on which you place the clothes hangers? That thing. I touch it with the back of my head. But I am so startled that I jerk forward, slamming my forehead into the corner of the dresser.

“Ohh god!” I howl, hastily setting my end of the dresser down and clutching my forehead. “Oh man. God, that hurts. Jeeze, I really got myself. I’m going to have a splitting headache within five minutes, I bet. Probably have a huge bump tomorrow, too. Wow, that was pretty bad. Yeah, that’s gonna be a goose egg.”

I look up at The Queen, and she’s completely stony-faced. Not a trace of sympathy. “Can we finish this?” she says. So I mutter under my breath a bit, and we finish putting the dresser into the closet.

About an hour later The Queen is in bed reading, and, as I climb in, she glances my direction. “Holy smokes,” she cries, “what happened?!”

“What?”

“Your forehead! There’s a huge red mark on it.”

I do a slow burn for a moment. “That’s where I hit it. On the corner of the dresser.”

“When did that happen?”

“When did …?!” I splutter a bit. “Did you miss the part where I was clutching my head and yowling?”

“Ohhhhhh ….” Realization sets in. “I didn’t see you hit your head on the dresser. I though you were reacting to having backed into the closet rod at, like, one mile an hour.”

“I had my hand on the front of my head!” I point out.

“Yes,” she says, “That’s how I knew you were faking.”

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Falsebook

On the one hand, I am pleased to have received so many birthday greetings today, based on the random numbers I plugged into the “date of birth” fields when signing up for my Facebook account. On the other, it’s unnerving how many people I know in real-life looked at those numbers and concluded that “46″ was plausible as my age.

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Happy People Like You

One of the greatest things about having children–aside from the perpetuation of your genetic material and the necessity of having sex to do so–is that you again have an excuse to listen to Sesame Street albums.

It’s not just that the songs are catchy and clever and rife with jokes that only an adult would get, but that everyone involved in their creation clearly had a blast doing so. Where the Disney songs are pitch-perfect and saccharine-sweet, most of the Muppet tunage is a sloppy, silly, hilarious mess. And you totally know those 70′s-era guys wrote this stuff on some high-quality spleef.

You can find five of my favorites over on muxtape:

I Like You: The classic Sesame Street song, sung by a major character (or two major characters in this case, Ernie & Bert), neatly encapsulating a positive message, and scintillating as all get-out.

For The Birds: I defy you to not laugh during this song. Defy! If you listen to your music over speakers at the office, player this sucker on volume 11.

The Letter U: Some of the funniest songs are performed by major artists parodying their own work. This sounds like a standard, high-energy Melissa Etheridge song, until you really pay attention to the lyrics.

Bein’ Green: Sure you know it, but have you listened to it as an adult? Do so, and you’ll see why it’s been covered by everyone from Ray Charles to Van Morrison to the Boston Pops Orchestra.

I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along: Okay, totally cheating with this one, as it is actually drawn from The Muppet Movie. But it would be unforgivable to omit it (as they did on the Muppet Show 25th Anniversary Collection … which is why we are now raising a generation of boys blissfully unaware that, someday soon, the girls toward whom they are currently indifferent will be driving them bananas). Fun fact: Jim Henson does both Kermit’s and Rolf’s voice in this track.

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AFI 100: The Bridge On the River Kwai & Nashville

Though The TV Show That Shall Remain Unnamed threatened to derail it for a few weeks, the AFI 100 Project continues apace.

The Bridge On the River Kwai: Ah man, this movie has everything: war and valor and girls and adventure and crazy plans and Obi Wan Kenobi. I thought it was good-but-not-great until the midway point, when our plucky band of heroes bifurcates into two groups, who spend the remainder of the film striving for diametrically opposed goals (one wants to build the titular bridge, the other endeavors to blow the mofo up). Modern Hollywood could never make a movie like Kwai, one in which the audience has absolutely no idea who the hell to root for. I had my doubts that any ending could live up to the fantastic premise, and was pleasantly surprised when they pulled it off. Hornswoggling myself into watching movies like this is why I started the AFI 100 Project in the first place. 9/10.

Nashville: I’m a big fan of a number of Robert Altman movies (Short Cuts and The Player foremost among them), and always defended the director against accusation that his films were unnecessarily long, rambling, and as uneven as the horizon of a Lunar Lander game. And do you know why I stuck up for Altman? Because I’d never seen Nashville. Now, having done so … yeah, okay, I guess I can see their point. In the hands of a good film editor, Nashville could have been a fantastic 100 minute flick, but the other 60 minutes is something of a drag. Protip: the point of having your actors ad lib their scenes to to keep the great, spontaneous, authentic moments and shitcan the rest, not to just spice the whole kit and caboodle into your already overlong opus. Not bad, and Altman’s genius is apparent throughout, but a pair of lopping shears short of greatness. 7/10

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Political Roundup Addendum

A new poll was taken during Tuesday’s primaries, in which half of all Democratic voters said that, if their preferred candidate does not win the nomination, they will vote for McCain in the general election instead.

Honestly, I don’t find those results surprising at all. I’ve long suspected that 50% of Democrats, if not more, are liars.

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Games: Twilight Struggle Back In Stock

I haven’t reviewed many new board games recently because … well, becauseI haven’t played many new board games recently. I have a To Buy list of titles I hope to pick up soon, but I am currently unable to obtain any of them for one reason (Pandemic is out of stock) or another (Agricola is on preorder) or another (Age of Steam keeps getting postponed) or another (Conan isn’t slated until late summer?! Throw me a frickin bone, here!!).

In the meantime, I have been playing plenty of Twilight Struggle, and I am ready to declare it as my Favorite Game, usurping the title formerly held by Power Grid.

At the time of my initial review Twilight Struggle was out of print, and has been for some time; I just discovered, however, that a third printing has been released, and the game is again available. So if you considered picking up a copy, now’s the time to do so.

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Political Roundup

B., loyal reader and master of reverse psychology, recently urged me to “Please please please stop writing about politics,” adding “you don’t have any insight I couldn’t get from any other other blog equipped 30 something urban liberal guy.”

True, true enough. But B., you are not thinking this all the way through. Since you already read this site, isn’t it convenient that I summarize the insights of all 30-something urban liberal guy blogs, freeing you from having to read them in addition to my own?

Once I integrate celebrity gossip, LOLCATS, and fawning reviews of Apple products into my posting schedule, this will become the only pitstop you ever need take in the blogosphere. That’s a little something we call “value-added service.”

Don’t Think Of An Elephant

The whole Elliot Spitzer debacle happened during my blogging hiatus, but someone wanted to know my opinion of it. Well, my opinion on scandals of this nature has remained fairly consistent throughout my adult, political life: I DO NOT WANT TO THINK ABOUT OLD WHITE GUYS HAVING SEX SO STOP TRICKING ME INTO DOING SO! I don’t want to think about Spitzer having sex, or Larry Craig having sex, or Gray Davis having sex, or Jerry Falwell having sex, or Bill Clinton having something that was not strictly sex pursuant to the legal definition provided in statute ยงยง21050, etc. I don’t care who or what they are having sex with because thinking about this aspect of the sex would involve thinking about the sex, which, as I have stated previously, I do not wish to do. Please, can we just assign a taxpayer-funded hooker to every member of congress to ensure that these liaisons become so routine that they are no longer newsworthy?

Stop! Grammar Time!

In a speech recently, Obama said the following:

We cannot prevail until we reduce our commitment in Iraq, which will allow us to do what I called for last August: providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our efforts in Afghanistan. This increased commitment in turn can be used to leverage greater assistance–with less, uh, fewer restrictions–from our NATO allies.

Whoa, nice on-the-fly less/fewer correction there, smart guy. Possibly staged to sew up the grammarian vote, I concede, but even that possibility is kind of endearing.

Hell, he ought to just adopt that as his bumper sticker slogan.

If I catch him correctly referring to “data” as a plural, I may well swoon.

The Neverending Story

Listening to NPR the other evening, they had a story about how the Bush administration desperately needed to, I dunno, read some eight year-old girl’s diary or something, to protect us all from TERRORISM and TERROR and possibly also TERRARIUMS. And they had some Bush flunky on there going on and on about how terrorists were RIGHT THIS SECOND planning to poison the nation’s supply of fillet-o-fishes, and the only thing we, as a nation, could do to stop them to give Bush the authority to do whatever he wants, up to and including drilling in ANWR and abandonment of the longstanding tradition of US Presidents wearing pants.

At some point it occurred to me that the White House’s depiction of terrorism has now become so at odds with reality that they might as well be warning us about gelatinous cubes. And, having thought this, I could no longer not hear the phrase “gelatinous cube” whenever this guy spoke, e.g., “The NSA’s Gelatinous Cube Surveillance Program is a vital tool for preventing gelatinous cube attacks here at home and preventing the spread of gelatinous cubism worldwide.” And you know they’ll be hyping the threat of owlbears again before the 2008 election.

Going For A Dip

Speaking of which …

At the aquatics center Squiggle and I frequent they have a bulletin board near the pool, on which they often post news articles relating to swimming. Yesterday it featured a page from the local paper’s recent “Living” section, with the 36-point headline “WATERPROOFING YOUR CHILDREN.” Except, for one crazy moment when I first glanced at it, I thought it said “WATERBOARDING YOUR CHILDREN” and was all like “Really? It’s come to this?”

Headline News, January 20, 2009

BARACK OBAMA SWORN IN AS FORTY-FOURTH PRESIDENT

Inauguration of African-American Heralds New Era of America Politics

Clinton continues to pursue nomination, dismisses Obama as “unelectable”

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With Tuppence for Paper and Strings

Last Sunday was beautiful, here in Seattle. So I purchased a cheap kite at the local drugstore and went to a nearby field to fly it.

It was the first time I’d done so since childhood, and had forgotten the intensity and purity of emotions a $5 kite can evoke. Foremost amongst them: FRUSTRATION and RAGE.

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